Davis Vantage Wireless Console/Reciever, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Rev 1.2, RTC module—the heart of my weather center

Despite their best efforts, all weather apps will eventually lie.

Weather is often hyper-local. For example, trying to suss out the temperature this morning:

App Temperature
Accuweather 41°F (5°C)
Carrot 36°F (2°C)
Ventusky 22°F (-5°C)
Garmin Running watch 48°F (8.8°C)

So, in 2013, I set up a Davis Vantage Vue integrated sensor suite (ISS) and mounted it on a pole attached to my garage.

Actual temperature (in my backyard): 47°F (8°C)

My Davis Vantage Vue Wireless Integrated Sensor Suite in all its glory

Weather station hardware 🖥️

In 2013, the DIY weather station route wasn’t for me.

A DIY station was:

  • 🙃 Beyond my skillset (at the time)
  • 🏴󠁵󠁳󠁣󠁯󠁿 Built with fragile, general-purpose parts that may fail when tasked with standing up to the harsh Colorado sunshine year after year

So, over time, I cobbled together an off-the-shelf solution:

Weather station software 🌐

WeeWX is free and open-source weather station software written in Python. And it’s the heart of my system.

It has out-of-the-box support for everything I want:

Frustrations 🤬

XKCD 2737 by Randall Monroe (Licensed: (CC-by-NC 2.5)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/])

Raspberry Pi

In 2023, using a Raspberry Pi is a mistake.

Any of the cheapo x86 mini-pcs that retail for about $150 would be a nicer option than a Raspberry Pi.

Running WeeWX on a Raspberry Pi has some problems (all of which are well-document on their wiki):

  • No hardware clock – this causes screwy date/time data following a reboot. I added an RTC module to thwart this problem.
  • Write-heavy vs. SD-Cards – WeeWX is a write-heavy application, corrupting even the best sd-cards over time. I’m writing most data to a tmpfs and relying on backup and MQTT for data persistence.
  • Unobtainium – In the mid-2010s, Pis were ~$40. Now, Pis are $150 for old models and infinity expensive for newer models (since you can’t find them anywhere).

Davis Vantage Vue

I’m unreasonably angry about Davis forcing me to buy a USB data logger.

Why is there no USB-out in the $275 console? It feels like punishment for eschewing open-source hardware.

Maybe something like the Meteostick would obviate the need for the console+data logger combo, but I’ve never tried it.

But the integrated sensor suite has been great: the only maintenance I do is swapping out the CR123A battery every few years (it’s mostly solar powered).

Weather data everywhere 🚀

My old Pocket CHIP (🪦 R.I.P.) showing off some Grafana weather graphs

Now that I own my own weather data: I spew it all over the place.

I publish data to:

There are weather widgets all over my house:

  • My desktop’s taskbar (XMobar) shows the current outdoor and indoor temperatures
  • Grafana dashboards show me the current conditions (as shown in the picture of my PocketCHIP above)
  • I even have a small eink display in my bathroom to check the weather before my morning run
Adafruit MagTag in my bathroom

And if eink weather displays in the bathroom are unappealing to you, I just don’t understand what you’re doing here.